The very first day that we landed in Armenia, one of the things we noted about the tours and packages being offered to tourists in the hotels and on the streets of Yerevan is a day trip to the monasteries found in the villages or in the provinces. Wondering why is that so, we took a deep look at each one. This ended us booking a tour with 4 destinations for a day. All of them won a dear place in our hearts but there is this one that we found intriguing.
1. Be entangled with the beautiful God-made masterpiece and art of all time.
At almost mid-day, we reached the quiet and calm quarter of one of the travelers’ choices. Standing in awe outside the walled entrance, we could smell the sweet scents of nature and feel the touch of the winds. Since Armenia’s monasteries are always located on top of the hills in a mountainous area, it allows its visitors to marvel on its majestic surroundings.
For a moment, we found ourselves dancing in tranquil serenity. Not wanting to go back to the noise of the city, we just enjoyed the moment and lived as if living the last. It was such a stress-proof and care-free day that lasted a lifetime’s memory. Of course, we were on a limited time only so we maximized it well.
2. Be enchanted with Noravank Monastery’s background.
Upon entrance, one can find a bench to have a lovely rest under the shades of the growing trees. Nearest to it is a small stone museum which housed the souvenirs and important finds that anyone can get and buy from.
Nestled in a peaceful valley of the abandoned village above the canyon of Amaghu, the well-preserved historical monastery of the 12th century is full of meaning and victory. Located in the Syunik Province of Armenia, the Noravank Monastery, according to legends, is considered to be carrying the “eyes of God” which was once believed to be the main reason why the Mongol’s invasion was made unsuccessful. Whether we are a historian or not, we thought that getting a piece of its history can make us appreciate the places we are visiting.
Whether we are a historian or not, we thought that getting a piece of its history can make us appreciate the places we are visiting. The monastic complex consists of 3 churches: Surb Karapet Church, Surb Grigor Chapel, and the Surb Astvatsasin.
Facing the entrance of the Surb Astvatsatsin, we recognized the structure on our right which stands a few meters away from where we were. It is the Surb Karapet and near to it is a deep empty well digged.
3. Be informed of a special khachkar’s great significance to Armenia.
Stones with carved cross (khachkar) are found everywhere in the monastery. One of these is erected in loving memory of the 13th century Armenian sculptor, painter, architect, and artist named Momik. And accordingly, it bears an inscription that says “May Christ remember and have mercy on Momik’s soul” because of the unique works he carried out for most of Armenia’s churches.
Tour guides are most helpful especially when there are no English translations made on special facts displayed in places like this. Though it is not necessary as one can always have Mr. Google’s bright ideas before coming for a trip.
So that was the end of our Noravank escapade. We surely miss Armenia and its beautiful people. We recommended this to our friends and we also recommend this to anyone planning a trip soon.